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STILLWATER, Okla. – The McKnight Center at Oklahoma State University will host Tulsa native and African Diaspora Archaeologist, Dr. Alicia Odewale on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 3 p.m. as part of its National Geographic Live Speaker Series: Greenwood, A Century of Resilience. Dr. Odewale will demonstrate how she uses archaeology as a tool to uncover lost stories and pursue restorative justice in the century after the 1921 attack on Black Wall Street in Tulsa’s vibrant Greenwood district.
The Tulsa Race Massacre is considered one of the single worst incidents of racial violence in American history. It left a devastating toll on generations of survivors and their descendants. Dr. Odewale’s research focuses not on the attack itself, but instead on the community’s trauma and triumph in its aftermath. Her stories will complement those featured in the Greenwood Rising Museum now open in Tulsa, Okla.
A descendant of a Tulsa Race Massacre survivor, Dr. Odewale affirmed, “It’s a story of resilience. Every time we talk about Greenwood, we want to highlight that this is a resilient community that has been here for generations and will continue to be here. Greenwood never left. We’re trying to disrupt the myth of Greenwood being destroyed in 1921, and that being the end of its story.”
“We look forward to learning from Dr. Odewale and being inspired by her stories as part of our National Geographic Live Speaker Series,” said The McKnight Center’s Marilynn and Carl Thoma Executive Director Mark Blakeman. “For over a century, National Geographic has been known for groundbreaking storytelling from around the world. Dr. Odewale focuses her lens on our own state’s history and brings the exceptional quality you expect from National Geographic right here to Stillwater.”
Dr. Odewale is a native of Tulsa. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at The University of Tulsa. Her research and teachings focus on the archaeological sites of African heritage in St. Croix, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Oklahoma. Some of her research interests include the archaeology of enslavement and freedom in urban contexts, community-based archaeology, mapping historical trauma from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, and investigations into different forms of cultural resistance.
National Geographic Live: Greenwood: A Century of Resilience is generously sponsored by John and Caroline Linehan. Masks are required for this show. The McKnight Center has enhanced health and safety measures to keep guests, artists and employees safe. For specifics regarding COVID-19 safety guidelines, please click here. For tickets and more information, visit mcknightcenter.org or call (405) 744-9999.
About The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts
The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University is a world-class epicenter for the arts dedicated to attracting celebrated national and international programs with notable performing arts productions and artists. The McKnight Center is an expression of Oklahoma State University’s commitment to the arts to inspire and transform lives through artistic excellence, creative experiences, and impactful learning opportunities. To learn more, visit mcknightcenter.org.